The increasing polarization of America into two camps – one holding traditional conservative values and the other adhering to the tenets of ever-evolving progressive cultural change – was on stark display in the nation’s Northwest on April 12. And, naturally, the urban-rural divide was at the center of the controversy.
An Idaho legislative committee held a hearing on the prospect of the Gem State taking in 22 of Oregon’s 36 counties as part of an expanded “Greater Idaho.” The idea is not as crazy as it may sound. Rural Oregonians who have become completely fed up with the rabidly leftist social engineering emanating out of heavily populated Portland are leading the effort.
“The people want to be independent of an overreaching state government and given the opportunity to raise their families the way they want,” Mike McCarter, representing two groups called Citizens for Greater Idaho and Move Oregon’s Border, said at the hearing, Courthouse News Service reported. Former Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons spoke in similar terms: “We’ve got a government for the state of Oregon that seems not to include us in rural Oregon,” said Simmons. “We’ve got a proposal in the Legislature to outlaw diesel fuel, proposals from our governor to teach critical race theory in schools and certainly all the bureaucracy. Overbearing regulations, a different view of the future that doesn’t have the kind of values and beliefs that we have.”
A Greater Idaho website run by McCarter’s organizations offers a sound argument for updating state borders to reflect changed social and cultural realities:
“The Oregon/Idaho border was established 161 years ago and is now outdated. It makes no sense in its current location because it doesn’t match the location of the cultural divide in Oregon. The Oregon/Washington border was updated in 1958. It’s time to move other borders.
Areas that vote like Idaho does, and are economically healthy enough to be welcomed by Idaho are: eastern, southern, and most of central Oregon, southeastern Washington, and northeastern California.
This proposal is different from creating a new state because it does not affect the balance of power in the US Senate. This means that it’s more likely to be approved by the Oregon Legislature.”
Breaking Away From the Big Cities
Why can’t it happen? When the very definition of “commonwealth” – the common good – cannot be agreed upon between groups of people, separation is a perfectly reasonable solution. This is the phenomenon currently mushrooming in the United States today. The Greater Idaho website calmly lays out why rural Oregonians are much better off joining up with like-minded Idahoans rather than remaining shackled to coastal cosmopolitans with whom it is impossible to see eye-to-eye anymore. Among the selling points for Idaho to absorb these parts of Oregon and avoid having the people living there seek refuge in the state as it already exists, the groups assert that a Greater Idaho:
“PUSHES OREGON LAW FARTHER AWAY: Oregon decriminalized hard drugs in 2020, which will bring addicts closer to Idahoans and tempt Idahoans to make a quick drive to get drugs. Moving the border is the only way to push Oregon’s drug laws farther from the county in Idaho where you live. It would change the Boise-Oregon drive time from 51 minutes to over 5 hours.
DOES NOT MAKE IDAHO MORE LIBERAL! Adding these counties would prevent Boise from drowning out the state’s vote in the future. This group of counties are rural counties that vote just as pro-Trump as Idaho votes.”
“So far, four Oregon counties have voted to approve the plan. Five others will vote on it next month and six others are still trying to get it on the ballot,” KTVB-TV in Boise reports. “To make it a reality, the group would need all 19 counties to approve of it, plus portions of a few others. Then it would need both the Oregon and Idaho legislatures to pass it, and Congress would also give it the OK.”
Whether or not a Super Spud State ever materializes, the forces driving it will continue to grow as the cultural divide deepens in America. From hot-button political issues to fundamental matters such as the definition of family and the basic rights of citizenship, the progressive-traditional American chasm is rapidly proving to be unbridgeable. Zealous urbanites such as former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg have hailed the rise of the Big Cities as new sources of power in the world today. It is only logical that those who do not want to be a part of what these supercities represent should band together to preserve the values they hold dear and the way of life they want to pursue.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.